Category - Book Reviews

Fictitious Book Reviews

Host Adron Buske examines the latest science fiction, fantasy, horror, and speculative fiction. These reviews approach each book both from a reader’s perspective, and from an analysis of storytelling craft.

“The Test” by Sylvain Neuvel

Fleeting and unsubtle, Sylvain Neuvel’s THE TEST is, appropriately, all about choices. What decisions will a person make when their future is on the line? How do those choices change under pressure, when the lives of others depend on them?

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Vigilance – Robert Jackson Bennett

“Vigilance” by Robert Jackson Bennett

Bleak, propulsive, and frighteningly plausible, Robert Jackson Bennett's VIGILANCE imagines an America which has embraced gun violence as inevitable and marketable. Yet the greatest weapons are the tools of media manipulation...

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

“We Sold Our Souls” by Grady Hendrix

Hellbent for metal and hard-up for mercy, Grady Hendrix's WE SOLD OUR SOULS follows an aging, has-been musician as she attempts to win back her dignity, and soul, from the bandmate that sold her out.

“Empire of Sand” by Tasha Suri

With a lush backdrop of South Asian-influenced mythology, Tasha Suri's EMPIRE OF SAND is a promising fantasy debut. Unfortunately tepid pacing, cyclical plot elements, and lack of any kind of surprise diminish the novel’s impact.

Rosewater by Tade Thompson

“Rosewater” by Tade Thompson

Tade Thompson's ROSEWATER is an alien invasion story far more concerned with how alien humans are from each other. His telepathic protagonist challenges the reader with his jaundiced view of a world askew under extraterrestrial occupation.

Slender Man

“Slender Man” by Anonymous

SLENDER MAN is a suspenseful, horror-lite, highly-meta novel about the terrors that may or may not exist outside of our own minds. While the found footage tale is unremarkable, it is a fast, fun read for thriller lovers.


Barren by Peter V. Brett

If Little House on the Prairie existed in a grim world of nightly demon attacks, BARREN's protagonist would be a venerable but beleaguered Laura Ingalls, protecting her community against a backdrop of social politics and sexual persecution.



FICTITIOUS is a YouTube show and podcast that delves into the craft of Science Fiction & Fantasy storytelling through interviews with authors and other professional writers. Hosted & produced by Adron Buske.

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